Millstone Township, NJ --- It has been nearly a week since the call to help five Standardbreds at the brink of a trip to the Canadian slaughterhouses was made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Today, all have arrived safely to a farm in Millstone Township, N.J.
There were actually more than five horses in danger, as two of the five initial horses have been rehomed while two new ones were pulled to safety. Six stepped off the trailer and each one was very well mannered.
There was a great deal of outrage over the need for this rescue, but while people were voicing their anger they also stepped up generously to get them to safety. SRF was offered generous gifts to purchase, ship, and quarantine: new halters were received, a Meadowbrook cart to sell to raise funds, a Standardbred owner added a company match program, offers of foster homes, and even a retirement home for one in California.
Most appeared in adequate weight, a few have heavy driving shoes on. One has paperwork that lists him as Keylarko Blue but this is not confirmed. If this proves to be the correct horse we will be puzzled by his lack of any racing lines, yet legs that have such massive battle scars from the oval. Mollie Muggins is the other lucky last minute addition. She is by Sealed N Delivered, a 10-year-old with similar legs.
We are giving them all a couple of days to settle in before we confirm tattoos when Dr. Bokman comes out to examine each as a gift to the horses and SRF.
The plan will include quarantine (isolation), removal of shoes, a meeting with Dr. Bokman to evaluate each one for soundness, any issues and needs, and then decide which ones might be suitable for some work under the saddle.
We anticipate that a couple will need full retirement due to age or injuries. We are screening the very kind offer of a home on the west coast, and should that be an option we will determine if funds will permit us to give one a California dream.
The greatest expense comes at this point, providing for all their care, work under saddle, finding good homes, following up once homes are found, and retiring those in need. Offers of homes, and tax-deductible gifts especially, are still needed to retire the horses unable to be comfortable under saddle.
One of our very special donors said, "We all need a second chance." SRF appreciates the kindness and generosity of those who have given these horses that chance.
The barn door is open to visitors but a schedule is needed so as not to disturb the farm owner. Updates will be posted on SRF's website (www.AdoptaHorse.org) under the Rescues tab. Contact SRF at 732.446.4422, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.